Thunder Kat
1 Copper

Dell Dimension E521 RAM upgrade

  Hey fellow Dell people,

  I'm trying to upgrade my ram from 2gb to at least a 16gb max 32gb. I know it can done because I've seen it before.

The only thing is as of this moment I'm running on everything stock, os, ram, motherboard, etc. If i upgrade to a 16gb ram, will i need to upgrade the power supply, motherboard and cooling system? I'm trying to upgrade to windows 7 professional so i can do art, music and gaming like minecraft, gta and stuff like that. But i have a Windows vista 32bit (dear god the horror) I was also looking at 4gb x 4 ram for the upgrade and saw it was a little shorter than my stock ram chip set. Will it matter? Heat is obviously going to build up so I'm going to have to install a better cooling system. I was thinking about water cooling (Not the one were it's entirely submerged in de - ionized water or mineral oil) Basically the one were the water travels thru tubes and thru a small radiator mounted right above the ram set or video card or w/e. But in addition to all these upgrades I will need a bigger power supply, ALSO will the mother board be able to handle all of this??? IN ADDITION TO ALL OF THIS lol what else will I need to do?

I love Dell, they're like Volkswagen, Built like tanks but if one thing goes wrong it creates a whole new world of "damn it's time to bury my wallet".
So dell community, what do i need to do and how do I do it correctly?

0 Kudos
2 Replies
5 Iridium

RE: Dell Dimension E521 RAM upgrade

If you want to build a gaming machine, I suggest an Alienware. The E521 can be upgraded to some extent, but it's a dated design. The maximum RAM is more likely four or eight gigabytes (of expensive DDR2) rather than sixteen, and the cooling is proprietary.


0 Kudos
6 Indium

RE: Dell Dimension E521 RAM upgrade

The best upgrades you are going to get for a E521 is a SSD and maybe a newer graphics card. You can install a 128-256 GB SSD to install Windows on and a 1 TB conventional hard drive for additional storage.

Crucial is a good place to look for both the SSD upgrade and the RAM upgrade:


Occasionally the system will accept more RAM than Dell/Crucial state. The E521 has been tested by some users with 8 GB:


For Windows 7 64 Bit the system should handle it fine. Refer to Windows Reinstallation Guide and Unofficial Driver sets for more details:



Tally up the cost of the components you are going to buy as you might find that a newer low end Inspiron Desktop will have superior hardware than your E521 with the hardware upgrades.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads

#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
0 Kudos